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Network tester checks cables and diagnoses switches

10 May, 2021

Fluke Networks has announced an instrument that simplifies troubleshooting when building or maintaining networks, including analysing the speed-handling capabilities of Ethernet cabling. The LinkIQ Cable+Network tester combines switch diagnostics with cable measurement technology to enable installers, systems integrators and others to troubleshoot network cables or to connect Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) devices to a network.

The instrument is operated via a gesture-based touchscreen and provides a bullet-point summary of key information. A single test provides the appropriate measurements based on what is at the other end of the cable. For an open cable, it shows its length and pairing. If the cable is terminated with a supplied remote device, it shows the maximum data rate that the cable can support, up to 10Gb/s.

If the cable is connected to a switch port, the tester shows the switch and port names, VLAN, speed and duplex. For PoE installations, it shows the power and class (up to 90W or Class 8) and then loads the switch to verify that the power can be delivered.

It provides simple pass/fail test reports using Fluke’s PC-based LinkWare cable test management software.

Fluke’s tester combines the previously separate functions of network cable and switch testing

“New technologies such as 10Gb/s Ethernet and expanded Power-over-Ethernet are at the core of today’s networks,” says Fluke’s vice-president for products, Walter Hock. “Whether it’s an installer who needs to ensure error-free operation and document their work, or a troubleshooter supporting advanced devices, they both need a tool that combines support for today’s advanced technologies with an ease of use that saves time and a price that means it can be widely deployed.”

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